Legendary boxer Muhammad Ali died on Saturday after he was hospitalized with respiratory problems two days ago.
"It's a sad day for life, man. I loved Muhammad Ali, he was my friend. Ali will never die," Don King, who promoted some of Ali's biggest fights, told The Associated Press early Saturday. "Like Martin Luther King his spirit will live on, he stood for the world."
While enough has been said about his matches and his boxing career, Ali was much more than just a sportsperson. He was also a social activist.
One of his most controversial decisions was on April 28, 1967, when he refused to be inducted into the U.S. Army and was immediately stripped of his heavyweight title.
Speaking on the title, he said "I had the world heavyweight title not because it was given to me, not because of my race or religion, but because I won it in the ring. Those who want to take it and start a series of auction-type bouts not only do me a disservice, but actually disgrace themselves... Sports fans and fair-minded people throughout America would never accept such a title-holder."
On June 20, 1967, Ali was convicted of draft evasion, sentenced to five years in prison, fined $10,000 and banned from boxing for three years. He stayed out of prison as his case was appealed and returned to the ring on October 26, 1970, knocking out Jerry Quarry in Atlanta in the third round. On March 8, 1971, Ali fought Joe Frazier in the â€śFight of the Centuryâ€ť and lost after 15 rounds, the first loss of his professional boxing career. On June 28 of that same year, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned his conviction.
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